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02/10/10 04:38 AM  
Racking off pellicle for ageing
I have had a bit of a search but I'm a bit unclear as to what search words to use (I tried rack off pellicle and got zip). Apologies if this has been answered a million times.

Basically one of my sours has what looks to me like pellicle. It's in a plastic fermenter and I'd like to rack it off into glass at some point soon but I don't want to interrupt the lovely things going on inside.

If I rack a sacch beer while it's fermenting, ferment will usually continue due to the yeast remaining in supsension. Is this likely to happen with the sour? Fermenting yeast is wyeast roselare. I'm not sure what other details to add so ask if you need clarification.


02/10/10 11:28 AM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
My guess is that it would probably be fine, but my question is, why do you want to rack it?

I've also experienced the opposite with sacch beers and it's one of the most common questions that new brewers ask on the various forums - "why has my beer stopped fermenting at 1.030" - turns out they almost always rack it too early.

02/10/10 12:13 PM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
Hummm, maybe there is a bit of a catch 22 here. I have a brett cider that has a solid pellicle on top, I'm going for the long haul. One of the advatages of the pellicle is it protects the beer, cider, whatever, from oxidizing while it sits. So i'm not even touching the carboy lest I break up the cap. Plastic, however, has been revealed to allow quite a bit of O2 permeation.
02/10/10 12:19 PM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
I've racked all-brett beers that had slight pellicles and the pellicle never reformed, but they didn't sit more than a few more weeks in secondary either. On the other hand, I've racked beers without pellicles and they have formed one within a day or 2 of being racked (presumably because of extra oxygen being introduced during racking and triggering it.)

My inclination would be to let it ferment in primary in a normal fashion and once you feel it is ready to transfer, transfer it. If it needs a new pellicle the brett will probably take care of itself.

Rob B
02/10/10 05:22 PM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
I have racked two beers that had a pellicle in the primary and both reformed pellicles in the glass secondary. On both of these I used the ventable silicone bungs.

One was a Flanders red with the roselare yeast and dregs and the other was an all brett beer with brett c.

02/11/10 01:49 AM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
'why do you want to rack it?'

Because I intend to age it for at least 6 months, likely closer to a year and I'm concerend about the permeability of the plastic. I also want to add some bourbon soaked oak and vanilla pods and figure it would be better to rack on to them rather than chuck them in the top. It's way past 1030. I do rack my sacch beers often but never that early and I don't get issues with attenuation.

I was hoping the pellicle would reform but being new to this sour caper I thought I'd see if that's usual.

Cheers all.

03/07/10 11:23 PM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
Little update:

Just brewed a small unhopped wort (similar grain bill to the original) which is currently chilling. When chilled I plan to add it to the plastic fermenter gently add the dregs of 1 orval bottle and let the brett from the orval and original roselare ferment it out. When it's ready (currently just below 1000) I'll transfer it to the glass demijohn with some extra vanilla and leave it for 6-12 months.

My main concern, besides the plastic fermenter, is that I only have 10 litres in a 15 L fermenter so i want to reduce the headspace.

03/08/10 06:22 PM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
the renewed fermentation from your small wort addition should be enough to push out any oxygen introduced (if I understood your method correctly). Maybe adding some maltodextrin to that would be a good ideas too to bump up the unfermentables to give the critters something to spend their time on. This will also help to push out any oxygen remaining in the fermenter.
03/09/10 03:36 AM  
Re: Racking off pellicle for ageing
You do understand my method correctly. Mashed around 68 and only for 45 minutes so hopefully the wort itself is quite dextrinous. Otherwise a maltodex addition could be on the cards later.

I have another question which may warrant another thread but I'm loath to start one unneccesarily.

The roselare claims abv tolerance of up to 11%. My brew was at about 998 prior to the addition of this unhopped wort and I understand brett will eat anything and everything it can. The brew has been tasting great in samples - not overly sour, a nice complexity etc but quite thin. When I drink something like orval, I'm struck by how malty and full bodied it is in comparison.

Can I stop brett fermentation at the point when the flavour and body is balanced how I like it by slowly bumping up the abv throughout until the brett gives up? Is this a recipe for bottle bombs or is it a regularly done thing?

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